Sixth Annual BNP Paribas Open Scholarships Awarded to Local Coachella Valley High School Students
BNP Paribas and Bank of the West Increase Grant Amount and Give Back to Four Deserving Students from Coachella Valley
New York, NY / Indian Wells, CA
"As BNP Paribas and Bank of the West assist our clients and customers with their banking needs, they place their trust in us and we are committed to giving back to them and our communities. To give back to the Coachella Valley community after years of hosting the BNP Paribas Open, we are very proud to offer scholarships to tennis-playing students who have excelled through hard work and dedication," said Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA. "Congratulations to Samantha, Fernando, Justin and Lydia who have not only worked so hard to achieve this success both on and off the court, but also showed us what it means to give back to their families, their school and their community."
Each student received a $20,000 college grant on Wednesday, March 16 at an event at their school and will be recognized during an on-court presentation at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, March 19. This year, the grant amount has been increased to $20,000 per student, up from $15,000 per student over the past five years. During the 2020-2021 school year, the scholarships were awarded to the deserving winners virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Samantha, Fernando, Justin and Lydia demonstrate that true success is not just about what you achieve, but how you use your success to help those around you," said Nandita Bakhshi, President and Chief Executive Officer at Bank of the West. "We believe these student leaders at Coachella Valley High School will use the BNP Paribas Open Scholarship to bring to the college arena their exceptional passion, drive, resilience and compassion– qualities that we value at BNP Paribas and Bank of the West."
Samantha has been enrolled in five Advanced Placement classes, five honors classes and maintains a 4.0 grade point average ("GPA"). As a member of the varsity tennis team since 2020, she won second place in doubles at the Desert Valley League Championship and earned her way into the California Interscholastic Federation. Over the past six years, Samantha has participated in Raices Cultura, a non-profit that seeks to empower local residents through artistic self-expression and cultural inclusivity, , and Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID), a program which prepares children for college. She has been recognized with awards such as the Renaissance Award for Outstanding Citizenship, the Academic Excellence Patch and the Junior Varsity Athletic Award. Samantha plans to earn her Master's Degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego.
Fernando has been enrolled in Advance Placement coursework and currently has a 4.0 GPA. He has played tennis with his high school team since 2020 and is known for giving guidance to incoming athletes. Since 2015, Fernando has volunteered for organizations like World Harvest Ministries, The Church of Latter-Day Jesus Christ and Warm-Up America where he helped provide food and supplies to those in need. He continues to participate in AVID to prepare for college. Fernando has been awarded the Varsity Athletic Award for tennis, The Most Inspirational Player, the Certificate of Excellence for his academic performance, and the Academic Excellence Patch for two years consecutively. He hopes to earn his Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of San Diego or California State Polytechnic University.
Justin currently has a 3.75 GPA and is a member of his high school AP Club as well as the Associated Student Body where he is known for his interpersonal and leadership skills. He is Captain of his varsity tennis team and president of the Tennis Club. Justin has volunteered for community service at professional tennis tournaments like the Oracle Challenger Series and the BNP Paribas Open for initiatives like Kids Day. He has earned various awards including the Academic Excellence Patch and the Athletic Awards, both for three years consecutively. His tennis accolades include the MAS Award for Varsity Tennis, Most Inspirational Player and Most Improved Player. Justin plans to pursue a college education in Public Health so he can apply the leadership and active listening skills he's learned while responding to the needs of his community.
Lydia has been enrolled in four Advanced Placement courses, four honors classes and maintains a 4.3 GPA. As a senior, she is Captain of her high school varsity tennis team, voted 'Most Valuable Player' all four years, and has an undefeated record. She helped her tennis team win the Desert Valley League Championship tournament four years consecutively and has helped to recruit future teammates. Lydia is Treasurer of the Young Women Empowerment Club where she has advocated for women's social issues since 2019. She is also a member of the Advanced Chorus Club and the Associated Student Body where she helped organize virtual events. Lydia has been awarded the Academic Excellence Patch, as well as the Varsity Athletic Award and Vicki Berner 'Heart & Spirit Award' for tennis. Lydia plans to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara to become a Speech Language Pathologist.
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About the BNP Paribas Open
The BNP Paribas Open is the largest ATP Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world and is held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The tournament offers more than $15 million in prize money and is the only event to provide the Hawk-Eye line challenge system on all match courts, including qualifying rounds. For more information, visit bnpparibasopen.com.
About BNP Paribas & Tennis
BNP Paribas is one of the major worldwide partners to tennis, with an unrivalled commitment to sport, going back to 1973. The Group's support covers all levels and dimensions of the game all over the world, including singles, doubles, team tennis, wheelchair tennis and family tennis, ranging from beginners' training to top professional tournaments.
- Professional Tennis: Official sponsor of the French Open at Roland Garros; title sponsor of the Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas; title sponsor of three ATP Masters 1000 tournaments – the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia (Italian Open) in Rome; partner to the Open 13 (Marseille), the Parc de Lyon Open, the Metz Moselle Open, the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open and the Queens Championships;
- Wheelchair Tennis: BNP Paribas World Team Cup;
- Junior & University Tennis and Academies: The Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Junior Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas; Master'U BNP Paribas;
- Amateur Tennis: Sponsors of the BNP Paribas Family Trophy; also supporting over 1,000 amateur tournaments around the world.
- The younger generations: BNP Paribas supports over 100 deserving young tennis and wheelchair tennis players, through its 'Team BNP Paribas Young Talents' programmes in France (with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and the French Tennis Federation), in the United States (with John and Patrick McEnroe), in Italy and in South Africa; also partner of the Roland-Garros ball-kids selections for over 20 years.
- Solidarity tennis: Supporting a number of original tennis related social engagement projects, through partnerships with more than 20 national tennis federations and dozens of tennis-based charity organisations: '#FAAPointsForChange' with Félix Auger-Aliassime; 'Fête le Mur' with Yannick Noah; the 'Aces Du Cœur' charity programme for hospitalised children; the 'Sound of Tennis' initiative for visually impaired athletes in the United States; the Israel Wheelchair Tennis Project...;
- Tennis e-sport: 'Roland-Garros e-Series by BNP Paribas', an e-sport tournament played all over the world as part of the 'Tennis World Tour' video game.
- Employee tennis: the 'BNP Paribas We Are Tennis Cup' is one of the largest global employee tennis tournaments in the world (3,500 participants each year).
Having entered into all these partnerships, in 2011 BNP Paribas set up a programme called We Are Tennis, whose purpose is to promote interest in the game of tennis all over the world. The wearetennis.com website and its social network accounts bring together a community of tennis lovers and dedicated fans from all continents who are keen to obtain the latest news from the ATP, WTA and ITF circuits. Furthermore, in 2015 BNP Paribas created the We Are Tennis Fan Academy, which enables fans to express their passion for tennis as never before. BNP Paribas also supports local tennis through crowdfunding campaigns designed to finance projects.
About Bank of the West
At Bank of the West, we know money deposited in a bank has the power to finance positive change. So we are taking action to ensure our activities help protect the planet, improve people’s lives, and strengthen communities. We are redefining banking for a better future by focusing on areas where we believe we can have a real impact: supporting energy transition, helping enable women entrepreneurs, and financing innovative start-ups. As the bank for a changing world, Bank of the West is committed to sustainable finance along with our parent company BNP Paribas. Through Digital Channels and offices across the U.S., Bank of the West provides financial tools and resources to more than 2 million individuals, families and businesses. Deposit and loan products offered by Bank of the West, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender . Doing business in South Dakota as Bank of the West California.
About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is the European Union’s leading bank and key player in international banking. It operates in 68 countries and has more than 193,000 employees, including nearly 148,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three main fields of activity: Retail Banking for the Group’s retail-banking networks and several specialized businesses including BNP Paribas Personal Finance and Arval; Investment & Protection Services for savings, investment and protection solutions; and Corporate & Institutional Banking, focused on corporate and institutional clients. Based on its strong diversified and integrated model, the Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realize their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance. In Europe, BNP Paribas has four domestic markets: Belgium; France; Italy; and Luxembourg. The Group is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model across several Mediterranean countries, Turkey, Eastern Europe as well as via a large network in the western part of the United States. As a key player in international banking, the Group has leading platforms and business lines in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.
BNP Paribas has implemented a Corporate Social Responsibility approach in all its activities, enabling it to contribute to the construction of a sustainable future, while ensuring the Group's performance and stability.